Southern Update 9/17/2013

On September 11th, CFJC’s Christina Spach visited Ms. Georgia Good in Orangeburg, SC. Ms. Good is the ExecutiveMs. Good and Mr. Rhodes Director of the Rural Advancement Fund (RAF), Vice- Board Chair of the Rural Coalition, and long-time advocate for the health, education and economic viability of rural black communities in the South.

Upon her arrival to Orangeburg, Ms. Good introduced Christina to Mr. Nathaniel Rhodes, a retired UPS driver turned farmer. He is one of a number of black farmers working with RAF to produce a unique variety of white sweet potato that will be sold to Northeastern buyers.

In partnership with a local organization, Ms. Good has secured 16 acres of land.  Her vision is to build a senior citizen housing project as well as a farm.  Housing residents and local youth would work the land side by side.  In addition to intergeneration relationship building, this provides youth with responsibility, a small supplemental income, and an alternative to academic learning since as Ms. Good added, “Not everyone learns from books.”

Additionally, Ms. Good has secured a program from USDA (SET) to create an economic development plan for Orangeburg and two surrounding counties. She is also supporting black farmers in their fight against discrimination as part of the Pigford II settlement with the USDA.

People of color in the South don’t get the recognition they deserve for their progressive efforts on worker rights and organizing of communities of color for positive change.  Ms. Good is at the forefront of such work and is a natural leader and change agent for black farmers everywhere. CFJC looks forward to being a resource to Ms. Good’s lifelong effort in providing economic opportunity for farmers and communities.